Here’s another one with the 10 stop filter. This is one of the groynes on Brighton beach. It’s quite a cliché, but I had to have a go.
The filter was very much overkill for this type of shot, since you really only want to open for a few seconds if you want to record the motion of the water. This meant I had to bump up the ISO a little and open the aperture. Still, it worked!
Today I tested out my new B+W 10-stop ND filter. Yeah that’s right, 10 stops! That means it damps the light intensity by 1000x, so a 1/100 second exposure becomes 10 seconds. Actually, mine is more like 11 stops, which is a 2000x filter. What this does is it lets you blur out anything that moves – clouds, water, cars, people, whatever. You can use this just like a bokeh effect to isolate the subject matter, or at least that’s the idea!
My plan was to shoot some of the busiest tourist spots in London, using 30 second exposures to get rid of all the people and stuff. It didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped – people tend to stand still as well (I basically need exposures that are long compared to the amount of time a tourist spends sitting down, which means I need to get another filter and start stacking these guys). Still, I quite like the results. I’m sure there is something really awesome I could do with this filter, I just can’t quite figure out what it is yet.
I really like the shot of Westminster Palace with the sky and river blurred. It looks completely different from the shot I took without the filter. It lacks contrast though, and I can only guess that’s because I shot towards the sun with a piece of glass in front of the lens.
I finally got the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6! She’s a beauty, isn’t she?
So this is the second lens in the team, and it’s an ultrawide. At the widest end, the field of view is 109º. That’s just crazy! It’s so wide you actually have to watch your feet to make sure they aren’t in the shot.
It’s not the sharpest nor the fastest DX ultrawide, but it’s very light and compact, and it was half the price of the equivalent Nikon. It will also autofocus on my D40, which most third party lenses don’t. I’m also rather impressed with the build quality, it feels very solid and the zoom/focus wheels are nice and smooth.
I still haven’t taken it out to christen it, so watch this space!